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Someone has the power to manipulate wind/air. With conscious thought, they can channel large gusts of wind to send doors flying off their hinges, use the wind to help them jump ridiculously high distances, and even focus the wind into a "blade of air" that can cut through buildings. The only limitations are that the larger the gusts of air the person wants to use, the more time it takes to properly channel and shape it, so they can't instantly summon a tornado. Also, it takes effort to shape air, and while the power does most of the heavy lifting, it still puts a strain on the person's body, so the more they use this power for big, storm-like attacks, the quicker they become exhausted.

What would be some creative ways this person could use their power? As in, how could they use the power of the wind, given the limitations listed above, to its maximum potential?

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    $\begingroup$ Wind is just tiny gas molecules being tossed about in a tangible fashion. Manipulating wind means manipulating gas molecules and if that doesn’t bring to mind untold possibilities I don’t know what will. $\endgroup$ May 24, 2020 at 3:43
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    $\begingroup$ I'm tempted to vote to close because you're simply asking us to generate raw ideas and you've provided no basis for selecting a best answer - which is kinda mandatory on SE (not a discussion forum. One specific question, one best answer). If you think about it, what you've described is no different from telekinesis (other than yours won't work in the vacuum of space). You have 100 years of science fiction playing around with the idea of telekinesis to draw from (from moving mountains to unlocking locks to undoing bra straps). Do you have a specific question? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    May 24, 2020 at 6:05
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    $\begingroup$ Assuming the parson makes a tornado, does it cost effort to keep just it going? $\endgroup$ May 24, 2020 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ The kind of questions that fit really, really well with this site are, "given the following rules of my world, does it make sense if I...?" and "I would like to do the following, but I'm not sure how to make that fit with my world's rules. Here's what I have so far, what should I do to make the rules consistent?" Questions like "My character can swing a golf club... what are all the things he/she can do with it?" are frequently too broad and/or too opinion-based. (*continued*) $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    May 25, 2020 at 2:39
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    $\begingroup$ Remember - the premise of the site is to help you build your world, not write your story. The more you focus on the actions of an individual (any individual) the more you're asking us to help write your story. This site is about helping you develop the characteristics and rules of the entire world (be it a household or an entire universe) wherein an infinite number of stories could be placed. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    May 25, 2020 at 2:44

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Without a description of the world as a whole, that is not something we can answer and have one best answer. Are we talking a modern-day sci-fi/fantasy type story where we have centuries of science to fall back on for fuelling our minds? Is this the standard preindustrial fantasy where there is not as much scientific enlightenment and something we take for granted today would be an innovative thing?

Using wind to pick up sand and blast a target (a sandblaster) might be creative and devastating for 1600, but it would be basically a super life hack in 2000. Abrasive blasting was patented as a process in 1870 should somebody be curious.

But to try and give an answer, as per the question this is what we know about this variant of aerokinesis

  • Wind can be gathered and manipulated in large quantities
  • Wind can be compressed into a form that offers more force
  • The manipulated wind does not have to harm an object or person and can in fact thep them
  • There is no definition of what gasses fall under the wind manipulation umbrella
  • From the Comments: Once manipulated into a form, it doesn't take any effort to keep the form.

Sound

We perceive sound as vibrating air. A tuning fork for A vibrates itself and the air around it at 440 Hertz. Every second, 440 equal waves are created with enough force to create an audible note. If a user had enough control, then they could create tones and music with nothing but their powers.

Counter to that, resonance with volume can cause some rather impressive destruction. For a tame version, see the stories of singers that can shatter crystal glasses with nothing but their voice. Entire bridges have been felled by wind and resonance style effects before, though engineers do try to prevent that from happening.

Compress and expand the air to create a frequency, then learn to do it fast enough to get the tone that you are looking for. This will take more control than power.

Not going to say Ghosts ...

One is not limited to big things. Using a gust of wind to flip up a skirt randomly, or to force a paper out of someone's hands. If this power can boost someone up, it surely can either trip somebody or impair another's athletic ability just enough for somebody else to catch up to them. A caress with the wind to somebody else, warm or cold depending on your whims. It's all about doing little things that people can explain away as something plausible.

Pawn it off as the Karma Fairy, or ghosts/spirits. Pretend your house is haunted by doing little things with air in your house -- levitating plates and simple manipulations. Pretend to be a medium and use your powers as the spirits of the deceased coming back and let those that come to you run with it.

Be a bit of a prankster with your powers and have some mostly harmless fun. Confusing people by flying a kite on a clear and still day somehow amuses me.

Creativity Through Understanding

Wind is defined as "the perceptible natural movement of the air". So what does that mean? Does this mean that all your user can do is grab at handfuls of air and move it, or does that mean that they have the power to filter out certain parts of the atmosphere by only manipulating specific parts of it? Namely, can they concentrate a particular atmospheric gas by pulling on only it, or exclude it by pulling on everything else? Are you only limited to gasses in the atmosphere, so you can pull on the air, but not technically the pollen in the air even though it is light enough to go for the ride.

The four most common gasses in our atmosphere is nitrogen (as N2), oxygen (as O2), argon (as Ar), and carbon dioxide (CO2). There are other trace gasses, like water vapour, methane, and the noble gasses helium, neon, and krypton to name what I could find after a brief trawl through Wikipedia.

Can this person concentrate the amount of oxygen in an area (by thinning out another area admittedly) to possibly help somebody with trouble breathing in our standard partial pressure of oxygen? Can you concentrate all the CO2 from a large area into one person's room at night and let them suffocate in their sleep, then disperse your control so it looks like they just died during the night?

How does physics reassert itself when a person is done manipulating the wind? Or for that matter while the wind is being manipulated? If I took air from places A, B, and C, and compressing it into a single spot D, how does the wind flow around A, B, and C? Do I get a pressure wave when I let go of my control at D or do I have just a super dense ball of air waiting for the command to pop?

I think a truly creative and/or cunning person will try to find the limits of this power, both in raw power and ability. From there, their temperament and morals come into play as to how they use their newfound knowledge. From neat aspects of their own abilities to figuring out their required secondary powers, it will be those that actually take the time to understand what they can do that can be the most creative with it.

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Manipulating wind is a great power - there are countless applications

In fact, it could be argued there is nothing you couldn't do - as manipulating wind allows access to so many systems, like sound, weather, motion, climate, atmosphere, the sun, planets and even nebulas and space.

So you could:

  • push a sailing ship by pushing wind onto the sails
  • create a sonic weapon by intense sound waves
  • let your voice be heard over enormous distances by oscillating wind in the same way
  • alter the course of storms, to protect or destroy geographical areas
  • alter climate by pushing cold air down, or moist air up
  • as most planets have atmospheres, you could manipulate their atmospheres in a similar fashion
  • gas is almost everywhere, including in space, so imagine altering the solar wind to deflect it or harness it, or simply to create more astonishing aurora
  • depending on the scale of your power, nebula are also diffuse gas. You could sculpt these to any form

Indeed, with such a simple ability, you may end up with so much power it can overwhelm you.

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Its not as dramatic as a tornado but you could suffocate anyone that needs to breathe by pulling all the air out of their lungs and surrounding area, it could actually be pretty cool use of the power and quite a sadistic thing to do as you watch your opponent slowly suffocate.

Other than that it could be similar to telekinesis or gravity manipulation by pushing and lifting items and people, they could fly using the wind to hold them in place. As long as you are in a planets atmosphere you could be like Storm from X-Men and she is capable of being a higher tier character, but she doesn't have as much limitations as your character has due to exhaustion but that could be something they can work on improving.

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Chemical Vapour Deposition

To use your power to its maximum potential is only a relevant question if accompanied by a goal. Using your power for maximum destruction, maximum personal benefit or maximum benefit for mankind lead to totally different applications. Thus I assume the modern world and modern ambitions for most people. Roughly defined as being respected by your peers, earning a nice salary for your living and help the world a bit, although nothing to drastic.

A very high tech process used in the creations of chips and solar-cells amongst others is "Chemical Vapour Deposition". In these processes it is very important to control gas flow and have as little impurities in the gas as possible. Having perfect control over gasses and gas flow will results in extremely high quality products without the use of very expensive machines.

Being able to do this in a production process will significantly increase efficiency of solar cells, computer chips, coatings, life-time issues due to impurities, you name it .... In this way you will be able to earn a tremendous salary as an engineer and possibly be able to create devices that are not possible to create with current machines. You will have the respect (and maybe envy) of your colleagues for what you can do and you will help mankind by creating better devices.

Other than that I agree with flox's answer that there are almost limitless option of which this is just one.

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Free infinite energy

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4489157/

1% of all tornadoes release 30 TJ of energy, if we can only capture 1/3 of that and gain 10% of the energy in the conversion, that is 1 TJ or 277.78 MWh

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=104&t=3

Ginna nuclear power plant actually generated at total of 4,689,440 MWh in 2018

To match this we need to make 16883 tornadoes in a year or 47 a day. if it take less than 10 minutes to make a large tornado, then one of these people can stand in for a nuclear power plant. If we can make the process of gathering the energy from the tornado better, especially since we control where and how the tornado forms. We can produce up to 30 times as much energy as a nuclear plant, or even more if we can make more than one tornado every 10 minutes.

Free infinite energy like this would get people to drive electric cars, since the cost of fuel for the electric car would be pennies in comparison to dollars for gas. Fossil fuel use would decline as "wind" power supplant coal burning power plants. Nuclear plants would shut down and no longer produce nuclear waste. Vertical farming would be possible since the energy needed to run the lamps would be incredibly cheap. More jobs would be created to use this cheap energy, which leads to lower crime rates. Cost of living will go down due to these enhancements to the production lines and farms. This could also help developing countries, since to set up the generator you just need the guy and a turbine, which is the basic part of any electrical generator.

All in all, you could bring nearly free energy to the entire world with a small team of these air benders. Also, they would be making a lot of money since they basically are a nuclear power plant.

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Possible uses of aeromanipulation...

  1. Pollution negation: The solution to pollution is dilution. If an individual can manipulate large volumes of air they can introduce large amounts of fresh air into polluted cities. Or channel polluted air into reverse osmosis filters to eliminate particulate matter. Typically high efficiency air filters only work if air is pumped thru them at high pressure
  2. Air transit/transportation. By hoisting currents of air over a large wing body, one can fly without needing exorbitant amounts of fuel for propulsion, assuming his power output is substantial one could potentially lift tons for air delivered cargo or freight.
  3. Compressed air industry: Compressed air has been in use since the 1800's, Unlike steam power, compressed air doesn't lose efficiency as it travels long distance.
  4. Military enlistment: Said individual could be solicited for air defense duties saving enormous amounts of resources/energy without the need of a plane. Reconnaissance (reporting on the ground observation), bombing (assuming they can carry a sufficient payload), interception of hostile aircraft, close air support
  5. Law enforcement: Most real large metropolitan police forces have aviation divisions but fuel/endurance costs limit their scope. A air manipulating individual who presumably can fly by use of their powers can provide long term observation and patrol with no upfront costs pertaining to equipment/fuel to stay airborne.
  6. Power generation: Given the proliferation of wind power; an individual with the ability to manipulate air currents could provide adequate power for large scale generation. Endurance and exhaustion would provide reference for available power delivery. With air for power, no pollution would be produced, no combustion required, no fuel needed. Another method would be compressed air storage, normally compressing air requires significant amounts of energy, a aerokinetic could do that without significant energy consumption.
  7. Assassination/Killing: Compressed air as a weapon is nothing new (Air guns) but an aerokinetic with sufficient skill could easily launch a projectile at high velocity sufficient to kill or destroy a target (Pneumatic projectile) or use compressed air in and of itself as a weapon, with sufficient pressure, the jet would penetrate the body, rapidly expand inside they body cavity and explode or penetrate completely thru and still cause massive internal damage. This method of killing would leave behind no evidence unlike a conventional murder, no ballistic evidence, no shell casing, chemical burns or residue of foreign penetration and no evidence of use of blunt objects or stabbing weapons.
  8. Entertainment: High flying acts, air shows, races
  9. Freezing: Guy Lussac's law states that the pressure of a given mass of gas varies directly with the absolute temperature of the gas, so compressed air tends to have a higher temperature but when released produces an endothermic reaction absorbing heat (this is how air conditioners function) this effect is also seen in compressed air spray cans which produce ice build up after prolonged use
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From comments

Once the tornado or wind construction is created, it doesn't take any effort to keep it going, but it does take some focus to launch it in the direction you want it to go.

In addition to previous answers - create a permanent, stationary funnel, tornado in an amusement park; call the attraction "ride the tornado" (e.g. a simple roller coaster without tracks). Charge for admission - note that you have monopoly - pay your mortgage and retire before the age of 30 :grin:

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